The Best Strategic Advantage for Corporations: Investing in Non-English Speaking Employees
When businesses embark on the journey to enhance their operations, reduce churn, boost productivity, and foster an inclusive environment, they often consider various strategies. But do they ever think about educational initiatives? Surprisingly, one of the most impactful and often overlooked strategies is investing in workplace literacy.
According to a comprehensive study by the University of Cambridge called “English At Work,” there’s at least a 40% gap between the English language skills required for various roles and the actual English proficiency of employees within them. This language gap is not limited to a specific industry or company size; it’s a global challenge that affects businesses worldwide.* Therefore, it is imperative for companies to seriously consider investing in workplace literacy programs.
Workplace literacy isn’t just an invaluable tool for employees; it also offers substantial benefits to business owners. Investing in an English as a Second Language (ESL) program for adults can have a profound impact on your company’s bottom line while reinforcing your brand and corporate values:
- Improved Business Communication: Effective communication is the lifeblood of any successful business. When employees possess strong language skills, they can communicate with clarity and precision, resulting in reduced misunderstandings, enhanced collaboration, and smoother operations.
- Enhanced Customer Relations: Workplace literacy extends beyond internal communication. Employees who are proficient in the language of your customers can provide a superior customer experience. This not only leads to higher customer satisfaction but also boosts customer loyalty and repeat business.
- Increased Employee Morale: Offering workplace literacy programs confirms that you value and invest in your employees’ professional growth. This investment can significantly boost morale, leading to improved work efficiency and increased employee retention rates.
- Global Opportunities: In today’s interconnected world, having a multilingual workforce is a strategic advantage. It enables your company to expand into new markets, form international partnerships, and tap into a broader talent pool, ultimately driving revenue growth.
- Eliminating Compliance Risks: Non-English speakers who improve their English significantly decrease the risk of inadvertently violating rules, regulations, or company policies due to language barriers. Their enhanced language skills enable them to fully comprehend and comply with workplace guidelines, minimizing legal and compliance liabilities for the organization.
- Empowering Diverse Collaboration: An organization serious about Diversity and Inclusion knows that DEI entails more than adding a person of color to Human Resources. A diverse workforce with varied linguistic backgrounds brings fresh perspectives to the table. When employees collaborate across languages, they often generate innovative solutions to complex problems, providing your company with a competitive edge.
As you research potential organizations to help develop these literacy initiatives for your business, it’s imperative to select the correct provider. Look for a Workplace Literacy partner proficient in:
Identifying the English language proficiency levels required for specific job roles within your organization.
- Administering judgment-free language assessments to evaluate the language skills of your current non-native English-speaking employees.
- Developing customized action plans tailored to each learner’s unique needs.
- Providing ongoing adult literacy resources and support to ensure the sustainability of the program.
Even a modest investment in workplace literacy is a strategic move that can yield significant returns for businesses of all sizes and industries. It not only bridges language gaps but also strengthens relationships, fuels innovation, and positions your company for success in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Unlock your business’s full potential. Contact Manatee Literacy Council to start your growth strategy.
Manatee Literacy provides workplace literacy classes for business, empowering employees through English. For a more information, please contact email@example.com.